In this newsletter, I’ll share what I saw and experienced during this year’s design week. Above you can see the entire exhibition area in Älvsjö, where the Stockholm Fair has a total rentable area of approximately 92,000 sqm. If you would to see all the details, click on the pictures and they will open in a larger format.
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

A photographer presents the Furniture Fair in Stockholm

In this newsletter, I’ll share what I saw and experienced during this year’s design week. Above you can see the entire exhibition area in Älvsjö, where the Stockholm Fair has a total rentable area of approximately 92,000 sqm. Indoors there was good pressure, good atmosphere and a lot to discover. If you would to see all the details, click on the pictures and they will open in a larger format.



Welcome to The Guest of Honors “Everyday Life”

For the 15th time the furniture fair invites a renowned international designer to design an installation in the Stockholm Fairs main entrance hall. There, the visitors were met by a colorful room where everyday items mixed into a fabulous chaos. This year’s Guest of Honor - Paola Navone - sees herself as a citizen of the world and she calls this installation “Thammada”, which is the Thai word for “everyday”.

Simple but strong displays

This year’s trend was open spaces with very well-thought out displays. The back wall was neatly tied together with color themes that also could be found on podiums and furniture.
In Materia’s booth, Swedish artist, EKTA had let his hand-painted art float out on to the floor with sober hues out towards the front of the booth.


Color in tone are this year’s trend

The colors are sober and muted in orange, pink, green and brown. But if, after all, you want to make a little noise, red and yellow are alright too. Most notable was the total absence of chrome. In only one year, chrome is completely out and replaced with lacquer, usually in hues of the fabric or the color of the entire product. Of all the metals previously seen, only brass sporadically appeared.

This year’s homogeneous trend was practiced in a room in Offecct’s booth shown below. There you could also see lighting from Wästberg. Even though Wästberg did not exhibit this year, they were by far the most represented manufacturer with a number of collaborations and product placements.


Tables with funktions

Abstracta launched Staffan Holm’s quiet table “Jetty” (above). The table top has a clever sandwich structure of laminate, cork and plywood with hollow channels. They all together efficiency reduce noise of any contact of the surface. The frame is made of aluminum with space inside for cable wiring. Above “Jetty” is the new sound-absorbing luminaire “Lily”, designed by Runa Klock and Hallgeir Homstvedt.
Even a few smaller new tables are worth mentioning. The mini table, “Jack” (left) from Blå Station can be plugged into the wall socket and has built-in power and USB sockets. Corbetta and Svea Contract showed fake marble table tops made of 12 mm compact laminate. Even when looking at them closely, it’s really hard to tell the difference. The advantage of not using stone materials is lower weight and a better price, and no maintenance is required. The table tops are standard from Ø-500 up to 1,600 x 800 mm.


Best in Show

The chair “Jin” (above) was named “Best in Show” in the product category. It was created by the designer Jin Kuramoto for Offecct and was previously part of Offecct Lab. Light as a feather but super strong and 100 percent biological. The material features thin layers of linen fiber, and even the adhesive is completely biological 

My personal favorite for Best in Show is “BOB BETONG” (below). The name alone was the coolest at the fair! Last year, the module sofa “BOB” won a prize for best product. This year, the “BOB” family was expanded to feature an outdoor version, a collaboration between Starka Design and Blå Station. Each module weighs 250 kg and up to nine units can be linked together with a bar running through the units.


Trends may come and go, but Retro is alway fashon

In the 1930s, Swedish designer and architect Sven Markelius designed the table known as, Markelius 01 for his modernist villa in Nockeby, outside of Stockholm. Thanks to its central location in the house, this dining table became the hub of conversations regarding the flourishing international modernist architecture, as well as the emerging Swedish welfare state. Not until now has it began production, as Offecct will launch a Limited Edition of 125 copies.
The sound absorber “Ennis” got its pattern from the Ennis House in Los Angeles, designed in 1924 by Frank Lloyd Wright for Charles and Mabel Ennis. The ornamental concrete elements are inspired by the Mayan culture and are found on the facade as well as indoors. The house was declared a national landmark in 1971, and was featured in the film Bladerunner from 1982.
The table and sound absorber is part of the Offecct Edition, a new collection of products with a love of architectural history and sustainable design.

Light experiences in minus degrees

In Kungsträdgården, Philips, in collaboration with the Swedish design group Ames Studio, developed The Light House. If you stood there for a while, you could experience different light moods. A nice idea that may work in Milan in April, but not in Stockholm in February when the outdoor temperature drops below freezing.

Hay was biggest

Hay chose to refrain from this year’s furniture fair. Instead, they organized an exhibition at Gulled’s Showroom in Södermalm. There, 600 sqm were used to show products from New Order 2.0, to highlight the full potential of the system that once started with a few shelves. The exhibition will last for a while longer in case you missed it during the Stockholm Design Week.

A furniture design museum has opened in Stockholm

Stockholm has a furniture design museum! Located in Magasin 6, a warehouse in the harbor of Värtahamnen, about 700 objects by 200 designers are part of the private collection of design furniture owned by architects and designers, Kersti Sandin and Lars Bülow. The Museum is open on Wednesdays at 12 pm - 7 pm.

In parallel, the temporary (until 4/4) exhibition Déjà vu shows how new designs are not rarely inspired by the elderly.

Focus on technology in the workplace

The otherwise difficult-to-design height-adjustable work table has been given a new twist by Horred in the form of the “A-Fame” series (above) from Studio Stockholm.
The display on the table shows a increased technical integration built into office furniture. Ragnar’s booth showed a system by Ganter Technologies for booking personal storage, meeting rooms and workplaces. It shows when a space is busy and who has booked it.

Martela showed a similar system from Tieto that takes it up a notch. In addition to bookings, you can also see where your colleagues are in the building so that you can book the closest available meeting room/workplace. Get flows and statistics for which spaces are used, and by whom to help improves office efficiency.


The new Greenhouse killed the rebel

Unestablished young designers exhibit in the Greenhouse, which this year was given more space in hall C. The design of the booths had been organized. Now they looked respectable, a big step forward from previous years with stone floors, white walls and non-existing lighting. Was it better? Yes, the mystique had disappeared, but the products were displayed in a better way that probably reached out to more customers and manufacturers.

Below is the low “Talking Mini Sofa” in Art Deco by Jia He & Xinyu Dang who run Tells Design Studio together.


Lighting with small and large resources

Outside of Greenhouse, Bruno Jonsson from Reykholt stood with his illuminated chess table that works as a regular lamp. He joins MDF and clear Plexiglas to create the desired pattern and puts on 0.6 mm veneer that allows the LED illumination to shine through. The result is a homogeneous, resistant surface that gives sharp edges in the illuminated pattern.

Below, two Italian giants show what you can do with technology and resources.
“WireRing” (left) of Formafantasma for Flos consists of a flat, stretchable electric cable and a metal ring internally coated with LED. The cable, which you often want to hide, comes into focus here. When folded, it takes up so little space that it can be sent in an envelope.

“Amisol” (right) by Daniel Rybakken for Luceplan is a sculpture that certainly takes up a place in the room, but the light can be adjusted and directed. The large screen, available in Ø750 and 1,100 mm, comes as a white diffuser that releases a large yet soft light. There is also a version with a silver or gold mirror film reflecting the light backwards.


The Design Bar & Design Talk became one

After a couple of successful years, one of the Design Talk stages was connected with the Design Bar and moved into the Viktoria Hall. Lina Ahlin was responsible for the excellent food. She has previously worked at Frantzén in Stockholm and Michelin three-star Osteria Francescana in Italy. Luca Nichetto had created the cozy environment. Eating while listening to lectures saves time. It’s tasty, fun and educational. Simply brilliant!

Honorable mention to Byarum Bruk

In their booth, they handed out free personalized bouquets to everyone who was standing in line. Flowers to give yourself or to someone you may have neglected during the Stockholm Design Week. Thanks, Byarum!
Stockholm is increasing internationally

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is becoming a stronger active player in the international design scene. The number of foreign visitors increased with 31%, an increase of 4% compared with last year. Visitors came from 100 countries compared to 80 countries last year and 60 countries the year before. Most visits came were from Norway, Finland, Denmark and the United Kingdom.

Next year's furniture fair in Stockholm will be held on 5-9th February 2019.

See you then!
Lasse Olsson Photo photographs interiors, architecture and lighting. My newsletter is published 6-8 times a year. It presents photographed projects and reports from furniture fairs in Milan and Stockholm.